The Contraceptive Implant (Nexplanon) Long acting and reliable contraception

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1 The Contraceptive Implant (Nexplanon) Long acting and reliable contraception A service provided by

2 What is Nexplanon? Nexplanon is a small, flexible tube, about the size of a small match stick. It is placed just under the skin of your inner upper arm and it steadily releases a small dose of the hormone progestogen into your bloodstream. It works for three years. How does Nexplanon work? Nexplanon works in three ways: It stops your ovaries releasing an egg every month. It thickens the mucus produced from your cervix. This makes it more difficult for the sperm to get to the egg. It thins the lining of the womb, making it less likely that a fertilised egg will implant in the womb. How effective is Nexplanon? Nexplanon is an extremely effective method of contraception, mainly because once it is inserted you are protected for three years and you do not have to remember to take a pill every day. It is over 99% effective. Does anything make Nexplanon less effective? Some medications may affect the implant especially drugs for epilepsy, TB, HIV and also St Johns Wort. Always check with the doctor or nurse that your usual medication does not interact with Nexplanon. page 2 of 8

3 What are the advantages of Nexplanon? It works for three years. It doesn t interfere with sex. Your fertility will return to normal as soon as the Nexplanon is removed. It can be used if you are breast feeding. It can be used if you cannot take oestrogen (the hormone contained in the combined oral contraceptive pill or COC). It may reduce heavy painful periods. What are the disadvantages of Nexplanon? Your periods may change in a way that is not acceptable to you. Other possible side effects include headaches, acne, tender breasts, weight gain and mood changes but these side effects are not common. It requires a small procedure to fit and remove the Nexplanon. Very rarely having an implant put in or removed from your arm can cause an infection and on rare occasions it can be difficult to remove the implant from your arm. Research about the risk of breast cancer and hormonal contraception is complex and contradictory. Research suggests that users of all hormonal contraception may have a small increase in risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer compared to non-users. page 3 of 8

4 How will Nexplanon affect my periods? Your periods will probably change: In some women their periods will stop completely. Some women will have irregular periods. Some women will have periods that last longer than usual. The changes to your periods can be a nuisance but they are not harmful. Please return to clinic for advice if you are experiencing prolonged bleeding. We can often help control the bleeding by giving you some additional hormone (in the form of the pill ) for a short time. We will also want to check that your bleeding is not due to another cause such as infection. Can anyone have Nexplanon? Nexplanon is not suitable for every woman. Please tell the nurse or doctor about any illnesses that you have had. The following conditions may mean that Nexplanon is not suitable for you: You think you may be pregnant already or you want to become pregnant in the near future. You do not want your periods to change. You have now or have had in the past: Cancer of the reproductive organs, for example breast cancer or cancer of the womb. Unexplained vaginal bleeding (between your periods or after sex). A heart attack or stroke (serious arterial disease). Active liver disease. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. page 4 of 8

5 When can I start using Nexplanon? Nexplanon is usually inserted during the first five days of your period but can be fitted at any time as long as you are certain that you are not pregnant. You will not be protected from pregnancy for the first seven days so you must use another method of contraception, for example condoms, during this time. Please talk to one of the nurses or doctors in clinic about when is the best time to have the implant fitted. How is Nexplanon put in? Nexplanon will be fitted by a specially trained nurse or doctor. They will give you a local anaesthetic injection, to numb a small area on your upper arm, before it is fitted. The implant takes only a few minutes to be fitted. It is similar to having an injection. After the fitting, your arm may feel tender and bruised for a few days. The nurse or doctor fitting the implant will put a dressing over it, which you should keep on for at least 24 hours. You should be able to feel the implant under your skin but it will not affect how you move your arm. page 5 of 8

6 How is Nexplanon taken out? Nexplanon can be left in place for three years or can be removed earlier if you decide that you want to stop using it. A specially trained nurse or doctor must take it out. You will have a local anaesthetic injection to numb the area. It usually takes only a few minutes to remove the implant. You will be left with a small scar on your inner arm and you will have to wear a dressing on your arm for two days. If you want to have another implant fitted it can be done at the same time. I have just had a baby when can I have Nexplanon fitted? Nexplanon is usually fitted three weeks after the birth of your baby. Can I use Nexplanon after a miscarriage or abortion? Nexplanon can be fitted immediately after a miscarriage or abortion and will start working straight away. How often do I need to see a nurse or doctor? You only need to come to the clinic when your implant is fitted or removed or if you have a problem with your implant. page 6 of 8

7 Does Nexplanon protect me from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)? No, the implant only protects you from pregnancy. To avoid STIs including chlamydia, gonorrhoea & HIV it is important to use condoms as well. Condoms are available free from the Sexual Health Clinic. Sexual Health Sheffield Visit Sexual Health Sheffield's website for opening times page 7 of 8

8 Produced with support from Sheffield Hospitals Charity Working hard to fund improvements that make life better for patients and their families Please donate to help us do more Registered Charity No organdonation.nhs.uk Alternative formats may be available on request. Please Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 2015 Re-use of all or any part of this document is governed by copyright and the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 SI 2005 No Information on re-use can be obtained from the Information Governance Department, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. PD8364-PIL3225 v1 Issue Date: September Review Date: September 2017

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